DTE, ArcLight plan wind parks in Michigan and California

Another 110 MW of wind power is being added in Michigan, as the major utility in the state ramps up its renewable energy commitments.

DTE Energy (DTE) said that it plans to build its next wind park in Huron County, which will add another 110 MW to the company’s renewable energy portfolio.

The state’s renewable portfolio standard is 10% of generation by 2015. The wind park will be sited on nearly 16,000 acres and host up to 70 wind turbines. DTE Energy will file for approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission this summer. If approved, construction would begin next year. With a federal incentive, the production tax credit, expiring at year’s end, few projects have been announced for 2013.

The wind park will add to the more than 500 MW of DTE Energy’s renewable energy projects already producing, or in the planning or construction stages.

“This wind park is another example of how DTE Energy is leading the way to clean, sustainable energy, creating jobs and supporting the communities we serve,” said Trevor Lauer, DTE Energy vice president, Marketing & Renewables. “These wind parks will add to the employment base, the tax base and provide many other economic development opportunities.”

Total investment for all four farms will be about $500 million.

DTE Energy expects to add about 1,000 MW of renewable power, or about 10% of its power, by 2015. The company plans to own facilities to supply up to half of that power and contract with third-party producers for the remainder.

The majority of the company’s renewable energy will come from wind resources, but it also has a solar energy pilot program that could produce approximately 20 MW. The utility’s renewable energy capacity under contract is about 7% of total generation.

Terra-Gen Power, LLC, an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners and Global Infrastructure Partners, announced on April 18 that it has closed a $650 million financing for the 168 MW Alta Wind VII and 132 MW Alta Wind IX projects. The completion of the Alta Wind VII & IX projects will bring the total capacity of the Alta Wind Energy Center located in Tehachapi, Calif. to 1,320 MW, of which 1,020 MW are currently in operation.

The Alta VII and IX financings include construction and seven-year term loans, bridge loans to the ITC cash grants from the U.S. Department of Treasury, and ancillary credit facilities, according to a news release.

Mitsubishi-UFJ Financial Group affiliate Union Bank and RBS Securities acted as Co-Bookrunners for the financing, while Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Key Bank, KfW IPEX Bank, and Santander acted as Joint Lead Arrangers. In addition, the lender group also included Sumitomo, BayernLB, DZ Bank, and Associated Bank. The syndication of the facilities received significant interest from a broad range of commercial lenders and was oversubscribed.